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NOOB in Eastern Maine

 
Posts: 15
Location: Eastern Maine, US
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Hello all!  I discovered the site and forums today and after browsing the forums for just a few moments, I figured I'd better sign up.

I'm in the early stages of developing an off-grid homestead on a woodot and two adjacent recently-harvested woodlots.  My place is on the East-facing slope of a ridge and runs from the ridge top down to the valley bottom, which is labeled a brook on maps... I know the difference between a brook and a bog... it's not a brook.

I don't have soil test specifics, but it's got lots of clay, and huge boulders abound.

I've been out here full time about 5 years and have been mostly focused on building a more conventional home, as the little painted plywood hunting cabin is functional, but not exceptionally comfortable.  

I've made little progress with annual gardening, but it's on radar.  I've dabbled with maple sugaring and will likely expand that in the coming years, turning at least some of the recently-harvested lots into sugarbush.

A bit about me.  Nearing 50, male, retired servicemember, dog Dad.

 
master pollinator
Posts: 4377
Location: Officially Zone 7b, according to personal obsevations I live in 7a, SW Tennessee
1818
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Welcome to Permies!
 
author & steward
Posts: 4443
Location: Southeastern U.S. - Zone 7b
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Welcome to Permies, S! You've found a great forum full of people who, like you, are all on a lifestyle journey. We have folks at all stages of homesteading, and lots of interesting forums for you to explore. This is a huge site, but you'll find an index of forums here -> https://permies.com/forums/forums/allForums
 
rocket scientist
Posts: 5612
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
2527
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Hi S;
Big Welcome to Permies!
So eastern Maine on a ridgetop. Sound beautiful but a bit chilly at this time of year.
You might like learning about Rocket Mass Heaters!
You build them yourself and they rival or outclass the newest super-efficient, ultra-expensive wood burners.
Labor intensive to build, but the benefits of much less wood use and the low cost of materials to build, make them an awesome invention!
Imagine having no fire all night long but your house stays warm!
Imagine never producing creosote and worrying about chimney fires!
Imagine only building a fire in the morning and one more in the evening!
Imagine only burning a cord or two during your 6-8 month heating season!

Pop on over to the RMH forum and read all about them!
I think they will interest you!
 
steward
Posts: 3305
Location: Maine, zone 5
1850
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Welcome and thanks for joining us all here at Permies!  
Always nice to have more fellow Mainers on the forum.
 
S Trevor
Posts: 15
Location: Eastern Maine, US
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Many thanks for the warm welcome!  I've got a box stove in the little cabin that's roasting me out much of the heating season.  I haven't yet committed to my heat source in the new house (10 foot high basement ceiling, one story with loft and 20 foot cathedral above the basement).  I've got a woodstove on hand that I could use in the new building, but will definitely check out the rocket designs this winter and come up with a plan for next year's continued build.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 3887
Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
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Hey S Trevor, welcome aboard! It doesn't sound like you're a noob at all. Show us what you're doing! This is a community of people who do things, and we gain valuable knowledge from other people who also do things. Looking forward to your reports and adventures!
 
S Trevor
Posts: 15
Location: Eastern Maine, US
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I've been doing well with the off-grid life, lol, but I need to study up on growing food, developing soil, generating power, etc.  

If my signal booster has life enough tonight, I'll try to upload a couple pics of the cabin I started with and am still living in, and the new house under construction beside it.

I'd be further along on the build but for pandemic prices and using my build budget to buy two adjacent lots (a decision I don't regret at all).

(Seems the booster doesn't have oomph enough to send pics tonight, I'll try again another time.)
 
pollinator
Posts: 962
Location: Central Maine (Zone 5a/4b)
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Hi S,
Welcome to Permies. As has been said, it's nice to see another Mainer on here.

@Thomas - I was about to get indignant for your suggestion that Mainers have an 8 month heating season... and then I realized you were right :)

I do often need heat a good way into May. And while September is iffy, I definitely need it in October... which would make 8 months. My apologies for almost being indignant :)
 
S Trevor
Posts: 15
Location: Eastern Maine, US
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The cabin as it was when I bought the place in the mid-2000s.  It's about the size of glorified ice shack, but it heats pretty easily due to the small cubic footage.  From late March to early November, I can get away with just lighting two Humphrey gas lights.  The past week or two has definitely needed the woodstove going.
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S Trevor
Posts: 15
Location: Eastern Maine, US
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The new building (shell at this point) going up beside the old cabin.

Other than a bit of excavator work and the basement walls, all the labor has been by two of my brothers and me.
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S Trevor wrote:Hello all!  I discovered the site and forums today and after browsing the forums for just a few moments, I figured I'd better sign up.

I'm in the early stages of developing an off-grid homestead on a woodot and two adjacent recently-harvested woodlots.  My place is on the East-facing slope of a ridge and runs from the ridge top down to the valley bottom, which is labeled a brook on maps... I know the difference between a brook and a bog... it's not a brook.

I don't have soil test specifics, but it's got lots of clay, and huge boulders abound.

I've been out here full time about 5 years and have been mostly focused on building a more conventional home, as the little painted plywood hunting cabin is functional, but not exceptionally comfortable.  

I've made little progress with annual gardening, but it's on radar.  I've dabbled with maple sugaring and will likely expand that in the coming years, turning at least some of the recently-harvested lots into sugarbush.

A bit about me.  Nearing 50, male, retired servicemember, dog Dad.




Where abouts in east maine we are around the patten area would love to connect with other maine farmers
 
S Trevor
Posts: 15
Location: Eastern Maine, US
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Richard Lawrence wrote:
Where abouts in east maine we are around the patten area would love to connect with other maine farmers



I'm about an hour and a half east of Patten, just south of Springfield. I go through Patten several times a year to head up to the North Woods.  While I've worked on farms in the past, I can't honestly call myself a farmer.  Perhap hobby homesteader (dare I say wannabe homesteader) with an ever-growing, never-dwindling  to-do list would be closer to the mark.
 
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Nice S. Trevor,

I am a bit further away as I live over in Waldo County having places in different corners of that county both on ridgetops (my main farm) and down on a river.

I work in renewable energy which is nice, because for the Permies members on here that are on-grid, its nice to be getting them renewable power from a good clean source (hydropower).
 
S Trevor
Posts: 15
Location: Eastern Maine, US
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Steve Zoma wrote:Nice S. Trevor,

I am a bit further away as I live over in Waldo County having places in different corners of that county both on ridgetops (my main farm) and down on a river.

I work in renewable energy which is nice, because for the Permies members on here that are on-grid, its nice to be getting them renewable power from a good clean source (hydropower).



Maine definitely sports a variety of terrain over short distances.  My place is almost entirely sloped.  One of my plans is for a pond about 2/3 the way up the ridge, and I have been toying with the idea of micro hydro generators (say 500-600 watts each) on the outlet.  I haven't even gotten to the stage of sketches, so it's a couple years away.  Once it gets closer, I'll likely post plans for sanity check reviews.
 
Steve Zoma
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I got a lot on my plate right now but living on a river with hydro dams above and below me, I am in hopes to build a hydro kinetic turbine that heats water instead of generates electricity as it’s not a huge cost for me.

But I love hydro, it sucks being on call 24/7/365 but it’s nice to be making power 24/7/365 too.

Note: I live on a different river than where I work.
 
Richard Lawrence
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S Trevor wrote:

Richard Lawrence wrote:
Where abouts in east maine we are around the patten area would love to connect with other maine farmers



I'm about an hour and a half east of Patten, just south of Springfield. I go through Patten several times a year to head up to the North Woods.  While I've worked on farms in the past, I can't honestly call myself a farmer.  Perhap hobby homesteader (dare I say wannabe homesteader) with an ever-growing, never-dwindling  to-do list would be closer to the mark.




Hahaha I'd definitely have to fall in line on that one. We havent grown anything yet and the only animal we have is a dog! So maybe not farmers yet. But the dream is there and were very excited to start a family and homestead. I looked up springfield . We were looking for some property out that way awhile back. We found alot of pfas sites near lee so decided to go a little more north. I hope everyone is paying attention to pfas and pfos there are contaminations from farmers spreading waste sludge on fields . There a few websites I'll look today what they were and see if I can post them for you guys. Also maybe this summer you can swing by on your way to the woods and see what we got going and maybe give us a few pointers haha. Have a good one !
 
Richard Lawrence
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Steve Zoma wrote:Nice S. Trevor,

I am a bit further away as I live over in Waldo County having places in different corners of that county both on ridgetops (my main farm) and down on a river.

I work in renewable energy which is nice, because for the Permies members on here that are on-grid, its nice to be getting them renewable power from a good clean source (hydropower).



Hey Steve! Hydropower huh !? I gotta say I have a bunch of ideas for a hydropower setup I've already got one pond I'd like to put one more below it and start setting up a system that would feed itself essentially using the same water over and over again. I'd love to pick your brain and shoot some ideas back and forth.
 
Steve Zoma
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Richard Lawrence wrote:

Steve Zoma wrote:Nice S. Trevor,

I am a bit further away as I live over in Waldo County having places in different corners of that county both on ridgetops (my main farm) and down on a river.

I work in renewable energy which is nice, because for the Permies members on here that are on-grid, its nice to be getting them renewable power from a good clean source (hydropower).



Hey Steve! Hydropower huh !? I gotta say I have a bunch of ideas for a hydropower setup I've already got one pond I'd like to put one more below it and start setting up a system that would feed itself essentially using the same water over and over again. I'd love to pick your brain and shoot some ideas back and forth.



Sure… it could work. I mean we have 7 dams on the river making 175 megawatts which are backed up one to another depending on community needs and elevation drop. They say that is “insignificant power generation” but I disagree.

It would be more costly, but if a person could home build the generator it would be fiscally feasible.
 
Why should I lose weight? They make bigger overalls. And they sure don't make overalls for tiny ads:
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